By Andrea Lucia

Dresses on display at the 23rd annual Dallas Bridal Show on Jan. 28, 2012. (Credit: Andrea Lucia/KTVT)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a day many hope to remember for the rest of their lives, but one that few wish to spend the rest of their day paying for.

Thousands of future brides visited the first day of the annual Dallas Bridal Show Saturday at Dallas Market Hall to try and find that perfect dress –– albeit, the most affordable perfect dress.

“You want somebody to come back and say oh, five years from now, ‘wow do you remember when they got married and how pretty it was’,” said Crystal Cooper, a bride to be, who is planning her wedding on a tight budget.

Like most couples, she and her fiancé want the perfect dress, the perfect cake, the perfect setting.

She began adding up the price tags, though, and panic set in.

“You just want to open up a TV dinner for everyone and let them eat it,”  Cooper joked.

The average cost of a wedding in Dallas is about $27,405, according to The Wedding Report, a market research group that tracks marriage statistics and costs.

When the economy took a turn for the worse, experts say extravagant weddings became a luxury many couples couldn’t afford.

“It affected the types of weddings that they were going to hold. People did more one-location weddings than two.  People were doing more off month weddings,” said celebrity wedding planner, Donnie Brown.   “Now, June is a dead month. Where June used to be to be the biggest month of the year, in Dallas–Fort Worth, we’re sitting at home in June.”

Brown suggests all couples start by planning their budget.

“Everybody has a budget. I don’t care who you are. Donald Trump had a budget,” he said.

The most important thing couples can choose may be the date and time. Picking a Saturday or a busy month could hike up the cost.

“You can do a brunch, where you don’t have to serve as much alcohol. You could do a champagne brunch, where all you’re serving is champagne,” Brown said.

The expert also advises couples to consider how to get the most out of everything used.

“Take your bridesmaid’s bouquets. Have vases at the reception. Stick the bridesmaids’ bouquets in the vases, and have those as centerpieces at some of the tables,” he said.

Bride-to-be Kristin Reed said she avoids temptation altogether.

“I’m not gonna go try on an extravagant $10,000 wedding gown that there’s no way I can afford and get my heart set on it,” she said.

The Dallas Bridal Show continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Dallas Market Hall. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children. Follow this link for more information.